Panic in seven flavors.

I know it’s too late. I’ve been putting it off and putting it off… and now, with only seven days to go before my biggest fair yet, I’ve finally come to grips with the fact that I need to get my butt in gear and search for a way to accept credit cards.

I couldn’t tell you why I’m so nervous about figuring it out, except that it seems like the final step before I am really, truly, a businessperson. It’s uncharted territory for me. And frankly, the sea of options, charges, fees, percentages, cuts, and other names for ways to take my money baffles, confuses, and depresses me. So I’ve been putting it off for far too long.

Ah well, I guess tomorrow is frantically-call-around-to-credit-card-machine-company time. And if it turns out that it really truly is too late to get a credit card machine, so be it. Checks and cash never hurt anyone. And if I lose a few sales because I procrastinated too long… maybe I’ll learn a lesson or two. Or maybe I’ll just be happier because I’ll be more relaxed. :)

Right now I’m also worried (in the way that I worry before every single fair I’ve ever done) that I don’t have nearly enough stock. Tonight I discovered stemless goblet cups online – “glue them to your own ceramic stems!” – and kicked myself for not having gotten them sooner. Because of course it is far too late to throw anything else now, and it would certainly have been nice to have something wine-related for sale at a wine festival!!! To console myself I bought twelve metal wine-bottle-stoppers with metal mandrils to insert into your own handmade doodads; I’ll throw little porcelain glass-melt-in-type knobs for them, and those should a) dry in a day, and b) be so easy to throw a mountain of that it won’t matter if half of them crack. And I keep remembering things I didn’t make, or make enough of: bowls, of which I have only four in each color; vases; oval pans; wine decanters. I should probably have made some business card holders too.

And then there are the things that are still unfinished, or which failed entirely. The glaze filled in the screw lines on half the lotion bottles I threw, so I need to figure out some creative solution for that. The five teapots I threw on Monday (after figuring out that my previous five teapots had all cracked horribly) are still too wet to bisque, as are the four casserole dishes I threw (one of whose knob has developed a crack, and one of whose – the porcelain one, of course – handle fell off). Tomorrow I’m going to have to simply uncover them, ready or not, to let them dry completely.

Ah, well. If nothing else, this fair will be a learning experience. Likely all this panic is for nothing. At least the last bisque load has to go in on Monday morning, and after that there’s nothing I can do (which in my state of mine is probably a good thing!)

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